Oh, ye of little faith…
How many Groupon deals have to go down before skeptics concede that – if structured properly – the half-price marketing schmoozes are win-win deals? Good for buyers, good for sellers.
How about a record-smashing 20,150 Groupons?
That’s how many $10 gets you $20 Blanc Burgers Bottles deals were sold over the weekend by Groupon.
How businesses can afford to sell food for 25 cents on the dollar seems to be the main question.
Simple, says Blanc Burgers main man Ernesto Peralta.
"To me, the only reason we do Groupon is it’s a marketing tool to get people to come into the restaurant and like it and talk about it," Peralta explains. "We have a new menu. We have a new look. We opened up the back room. We have new appetizers, new burgers, new desserts, new cocktails. And I want people to come see it. So to me, this is the best opportunity to get new people to come see us. Or people who haven’t been here in a while."
As for the almighty buck…
"It’s not a money making technique," Peralta says. "It’s a marketing tool. Some businesses spend money on radio advertising and on TV and newspaper ads and there’s no guarantee it’s going to bring in 20,000 people. Groupon claims to have 400,000 people (in this market) and at least 400,000 people read the name Blanc over the weekend."
Not to belabor the point – but for skeptics sake – how does one make money at 25 cents on the dollar?
"We don’t," Peralta reiterates. "We’re not making money, but we’re creating an experience. We’re creating exposure. And I would say 90 percent of the people who come in with a Groupon spend more than the Groupon is worth."
For example, my party of three at lunch yesterday racked up a $55 check ( no cocktails, one dessert).
"And 60 to 70 percent of the people who come in have never been to Blanc before so it’s great to get our name out there," says Blanc’s Brian Wilson. "We don’t lose money on Groupon – there’s no way we lose money. Everybody always spends more than $20."